HSI Detroit hosts first IPR enforcement field training event

More than 70 Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel from the Detroit area recently converged at the first-ever Anti-Counterfeiting Issues and Product ID Training Fair to learn more about counterfeiting and how to observe fakes.

HSI Detroit hosted the event to create a better understanding of counterfeiting and how to prepare frontline law enforcement personnel to address it. HSI Detroit Special Agent in Charge Vance Callender opened the event by welcoming attendees and brand holders. Callender noted that the timing of the event coincided with the recent announcement of HSI’s FY 2020 Goals and Priorities, which highlighted IPR enforcement as a key investigate priority.

The day-long event included an anti-counterfeiting overview by the International Anticounterfeiting Coalition, an HSI IPR investigation case study, an overview of federal laws and IP prosecution by the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, and product training by several brand holders. In a separate breakout session, staff representing nearly two dozen brand holders provided attendees hands-on product training on what to look for in a range of consumer goods which included apparel, e-cigarettes, perfumes, watches and other items.

“Training events like this one play a vital role in our efforts to combat IPR violations,” said Callender. “By bringing together stakeholders like brand holders, law enforcement personnel, and the federal prosecutors, we’re able to coalesce around the key strategies that make our investigations successful.”

The IACC, which partnered with the HSI Detroit Global Trade Investigations Task Force on the training event, is the world's largest anti-counterfeiting organization, helps facilitate the networking, support and collaboration between private sector and government and law enforcement stakeholders to jointly combat intellectual property theft. The IACC represents the interests of more than 250 major private sector companies impacted by and concerned with threats related to trademark counterfeiting and intellectual property theft.

HSI Detroit plans to hold similar training sessions on a semi-annual basis.